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Words on Walls

Combining poetry and spoken word with multimedia installation

Words on Walls is a collaborative youth-produced performance of music and spoken word along with poetry projections by the POEMobile. The POEMobile is a beautifully hand-painted truck covered in the calligraphy of multilingual poetry that houses an innovative, open-air text projection system.

Each partner organization brought their expertise to the program. Urban Word mentors and Bring to Light facilitators worked with Urban Word teens to create place-based poems and photography that celebrate cultural diversity, neighborhood histories and the power of youth voice. City Lore engaged with local neighborhoods to co-host the celebrations and run the POEMobile.

Urban Word teens also learned to use software and customized programs to transform their poems into light installations. They designed how their poems would be projected by the POEMobile on a variety of surfaces with different text animation effects.

The POEMobile traveled throughout the city to the Bring to Light Festival, Ideas City Festival, Schomburg Center for Research in Black History, and Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights. At each site, the POEMobile projected the illuminated poems onto building facades to share and present the works of Urban Word youth.

This project was funded by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in 2012.

Lead Organization:
Urban Word NYC

Partner Organizations:
City Lore , Bowery Arts & Science , Bring to Light Festival

Project Goal:
Develop innovative and dynamic ways for youth to share and present their creative work in various digital learning environments.

Project Tags:
Advocacy & Social Justice, Arts

Project Portfolio